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How To Choose A Vacation Destination: A Guide

So, you’re doing some trip planning this summer? Do you want to travel somewhere to get to know new cultures, taste different cuisines, and see famous works of art? There are so many places to choose from, you probably have no idea where to start! 

Travel planning and picking a vacation destination can seem overwhelming at first due to the vast array of travel-worthy destinations, from stunning natural getaways to enriching cultural metropolises. When there are so many places to visit, how in the world do you decide where you want to go?

The best way to tackle this decision is to break down the planning process into manageable phases. Planning is the time to determine what's most important to you and what you want to achieve during your trip — even if that’s just some R&R.

If you’re stuck on your next destination, keep reading! We're going through the most important factors to consider when planning a trip that fits your interests and needs. 

Soon enough, you’ll be on a road trip, soaring through the skies in first-class, or sailing the high seas to your dream destination.

Think About Timing

Our first travel tip: decide how much time you want to take away for your next trip. Are you looking to get away for a weekend and do some sightseeing, or do you want to spend a month traveling across the world and checking amazing places off your bucket list? 

You’d need a lot of time to do the latter, especially if you have a long list of places to show your travel agent. In addition to enough time, you need enough money to cover airfare, even if you’re taking cheap flights. Of course, visiting your next travel destination for a shorter amount of time means easier planning.

If you only have a week to travel, you probably don't want to go too far. The further you travel, the longer it will take to arrive and acclimate to a foreign time zone. A journey to a distant destination, on the other hand, can be life-changing if you have more than two weeks to go and want to get out of your comfort zone a bit.

Knowing how much time you have can help you limit your choices and devise a strategy. The number of destinations you can realistically visit varies depending on how long you'll be traveling. The length can really range from months to a few days — it all depends on your budget (and your PTO)! 

Months

If you can set out for a couple of months for vacation, you can visit so many amazing destinations — but not everywhere is cut out for a multi-month excursion. You can run out of things to do in one spot with all that time unless you're in a big city with lots of events. 

For a multi-month trip, pick somewhere you can easily move from location to location. That way, you can really maximize the parts of the world you’re able to experience while you’re away.

A simple way you can change up your destinations during your journey is by heading on a cruise. This way, you won't have to worry about calculating transportation costs. Getting from one destination to the next will already be scheduled for you, as will plenty of interesting local excursions!

Weeks

While a few weeks is still a solid amount of time OOO, it’ll still impact where you can travel.

You can go on a shorter cruise to see more places in less time, or you can choose one amazing destination that you really want to sink your teeth into. If you do decide to hunker down in one location for multiple weeks, choose somewhere you can take weekend trips to neighboring gems.

A Week

​​A week is an ideal length of time to spend exploring a single area, especially if it’s a bigger city. You’ll get to eat at a variety of restaurants and view all of the sights without feeling rushed. 

If you have a time constraint but still want to explore more of the world, you can still make it happen in a week. 

You could visit numerous destinations with the right plan, allowing you to see the highlights of each area, which you can revisit for more in-depth exploration on your next big trip. This will just require a little more advance planning on your part.

A Few Days

​​If you just have an odd number of days to travel, don't try to squeeze too many activities into your trip. You'll want to take a break between outings to keep your health and energy levels up. 

You'll also want to be able to take things slowly and appreciate each moment.

If you don't feel rushed, you'll have a much better experience.

Think About the Season

Consider when you wish to travel as well, as this can have an impact on your overall experience.

 Do you want to visit a new site during peak tourist season, or would you prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle by visiting during the off-season?

 Is it necessary that you take this trip during the summer, or would the winter work just as well? 

If you plan on doing a lot of outdoor activities — like swimming or surfing — you might want to visit during a busier time of year when the weather is nice. If you want to spend the majority of your time indoors touring museums, though, you might prefer to travel during a slow season.

Think About Your Budget

After timing, the most important factor you should consider as you plan your next large vacation is your budget. You'll end up spending money no matter where you travel. 

Your spending will be broken down into the following categories:

  • Transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Entertainment
  • Souvenirs
  • Miscellaneous

Specific costs will vary depending on how far you go, where you travel, and how long you stay. You can probably anticipate paying the most for transportation and lodging in general. In order to prep for your trip, you’ll need to make sure you have enough money to cover those and other expenses.

Before setting sail, here are a few tips to consider.

Review Your Finances

Think about any travel funds you may have, as well as your salary and existing expenditures or expenses. It will be easier to choose a holiday place if you know how much money you have. The rest of the steps will be guided by this budget.

Organize Your Expenses

Research the place or places you'll be visiting. Keep in mind that cities are more expensive, especially when they are popular tourist locales. Meanwhile, lesser-known travel places can be less expensive. 

To help you arrange your costs, set aside a specific amount for each of the categories indicated above.

Stay Within Your Budget

Add up the costs in the categories above to check if they're within your budget. Give yourself a safety net in case of emergencies or miscalculations. If the total exceeds or falls within your budget, examine what you can do to save money. 

Are there any less expensive options for a meal or two? Can you reduce the number of souvenirs on your shopping list?

If you plan ahead of time, you might be able to save enough money to treat yourself before heading home.

Convert To Your Travel Destinations’ Currencies

It’s also always wise to convert your money to the currency of your destination. Having a firm understanding of the monetary difference helps to put your spending in context, especially once you've arrived at your destination. This way, you’ll have a clearer idea of what you’re spending going forward.

Get Tips From Pros

To get inspired, find travel blogs written by bloggers who know the secrets of traveling — finding hidden gems, using public transportation or getting a rental car, leveling up your travel style, or even learning exchange rates and peak seasons for different countries.

Other Things To Consider

Now that you've created a budget, you need to think about how you'll be spending it. 

Will you exchange money for foreign cash before your trip so that you have it with you when you arrive? Will you pay with a debit or credit card, and will there be any fees if you travel internationally? 

Make sure to account for those extra expenses, as they may quickly pile up if you aren't attentive. A budget will either limit or extend your possibilities, so it's an important first step in determining where to go.

Think About Your Travel Companions

Are you going with your partner, children, or friends? Are you looking forward to your first solo trip? It’s important to consider who’s going to be joining in on the fun! 

Traveling With a Partner

Consider destinations with activities that both you and your partner will love if you're traveling with your spouse. You might wish to choose a romantic spot because you're traveling as a couple.

Enjoying a bottle of wine in Italy, gazing at the Northern Lights in Iceland, or lounging on a private beach in the Caribbean will take your romantic vacation to the next level. These are amazing experiences to have whether you're traveling alone or with a group of pals.

Traveling With a Group 

If you're going on vacation with a group, a cruise can be a stress-free option. That way, once you're on board, the planning and transportation are taken care of for you and all of your friends. 

Sit down with your trip buddies to figure out your ideal destinations, and ask them questions like these:

  • How long do they want to go away?
  • What do they hope to gain the most from their travels?
  • What kind of lodging do they prefer?
  • Do you want to relax or explore?
  • What’s your ideal budget?

Traveling Solo

If you're planning to travel alone, think about how far you want to push yourself. 

Do you feel comfortable and safe traveling to a foreign nation on your own for a cultural experience that will enrich your life, or would you rather go somewhere less daunting and closer to home? 

If you're traveling alone for the first time, you might want to consider arranging a tour.

A tour company can often be the best option for lone travelers. You'll have the option of exploring new regions or relaxing alone, solid in the knowledge that others are watching out for you. 

Take part in their itineraries and events to meet other travelers or relax on your well-deserved vacation.

Think About Your Environment 

Before settling on where you’re going it’s also vital to think about the type of setting you want, taking into account things like weather and scenery. 

Do you favor warm, sunny weather? You might want to consider going to a tropical location, such as the Caribbean. 

Do you prefer a cooler temperature and enjoy cuddling up in front of the fireplace with a nice cup of cocoa? There are many beautiful northern sites to visit. For example, going whale watching in Cape Cod or being whisked away by a raging waterfall in Iceland.

While you're abroad, what kind of scenery do you like to see when you wake up? Do you like to wake up to the sound of tropical birds surrounded by vegetation, or would you prefer to watch the sun rise above towering seaside cliffs? Do you want to be in the heart of a vibrant, inspiring city, or do you prefer the peace, quiet, and romance of a small village? 

All of these questions will narrow down your options until you can find the vacation location of your dreams!

Conclusion

All you need to do now is put this all together and find the perfect destination! And of course check out the La Blanca website, for your new vacation swimwear if you’re heading somewhere warm. Order them and try them on at home enjoying complimentary shipping and returns on all orders over $79. 



Sources:

Vacation Alone - Essential Tips to Relaxing Solo Vacations | Thrillist

Everything you need to know to see the northern lights | Lonely Planet

The Pros and Cons of Vacationing in the Off-Season | Travel Guide Book

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